17 March 2011

San Diego: Day Three

This was the first morning that we had a morning meeting. We went to the living room and met with most of the people that work with City of Refuge. They each came in and sat by a team member and prayed for us. Then we all introduced ourselves - my team and the City of Refuge team. Several of them have lived on the streets before, but now live and serve with CoR. When we finished with introductions and a small Bible study, we went outside to divide into smaller teams. This was so we could divvy up the work easier, and to help with the food prep/clean up schedule. I was put on team three, but I was pulled off to work with someone else for the morning.

This part will take a bit of explaining. City of Refuge lives on donations. They have a clothing garage (that also has miscellaneous other items, like some toys and bedding) and a food storage room, and they take what is donated and give it out to people. In the front of their main house, they fill large bins with clothes, then they sort them by category: men's clothes, women's clothes, toiletries, diapers, toys, etc. If someone needs something, they knock on the front door and tell you what they want, and you hand them the appropriate bin(s). When those bins start to empty, they get refilled from whatever is in the storage room.
When someone comes by and wants food, they ask someone who is available, and wait at a picnic table in the middle of the community. Then they are given a sandwich, a drink or two, chips, and a sweet snack, like cookies.

I ended up working with Beth, from my team, and Jenny, from City of Refuge. We sorted out donated clothes and gave out clothes to a lady that came by the community. I also gave some sandwiches to some men that came by. This was actually one of my favorite things to do all week - I met some really cool people and enjoyed the conversations we had. The first two guys I gave food to, however, made me feel a bit uneasy. However, after they left, another man came by. I was kind of leery about giving out more sandwiches, after the first two guys, but I did it anyway - I was there to serve, regardless of who it was. Anyway, I gave them an his food and asked his name. He said it was Michael. I sat and talked with him for a little while. I don't remember much of what he said, but I do know he came back the next two days, and the last time I saw him I had walked out by the picnic table just in time to hear him ask where I was :)

My unofficial team got done sorting and organizing and had some free time before lunch. We went inside the main house and hung out while we waited. Lunch time came, and so did a huge crowd. We all gathered in a big circle in the dining room/living room area and held hands. Then we shared a few announcements and prayed together and lined up for food. One thing I really appreciated was that at every meal, the men allowed the women to go first. I mean, I really love to eat, so it was awesome to not have to wait, but it was very kind of them to go last every time so they could love us in little ways. Anyway. I don't remember all of the meals, but I do know every one of them was amazing.

Saying grace. One of my favorite parts of the day. Photo by Sarah Becker.

- Scout

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